Marsala is a coastal town in western Sicily, close to Trapani Airport. The town has ancient origins and some fine exhibits in its archaeological museum. It makes a practical base for a holiday, as it has a couple of good hotels, public transport connections to the other principal sights in this part of Sicily, and ferry services to the Egadi Islands.
Marsala is most famous for two things. Firstly, its wine, also called Marsala. After a long period of poverty, Marsala became home to a prosperous wine trade, developed by entrepreneurs at the end of the eighteenth century, led by one John Woodhouse, from Liverpool, who exported the fortified wine. Other English and Sicilian businessmen followed his example, and it was in fact one of these men, Joseph Whitaker, who began excavating and piecing together the history of Mozia.
Marsala’s other claim to fame is as the landing place for Garibaldi and his thousand men (the Mille) on May 11th 1860, starting the chain of events immediately preceding Italy’s unification. Throughout town you’ll find commemorative plaques, and businesses of every description trading under Garibaldi’s name and image. As a tourist destination, Marsala suffers through the proximity of a number of better-known sites nearby such as Greek Selinunte and busy Trapani.
However, it is a pleasant historic town in its own right, and both the nearby site of Mozia and Marsala’s own archaeological museum are important destinations for those with an interest in history.The heart of Marsala is the piazza in front of the town’s Duomo, which is dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket. This square, called Piazza della Repubblica or Piazza Loggia, is a pleasant place for a promenade or refreshments at the cafe opposite the cathedral.
Visitors interested in the local wine will find various bars and enoteche (wine bars/shops) where Marsala can be sampled and purchased. Look out for the world ‘baglio’, used for the local cellars and HQs of wine production. Several of these can be visited, and for drivers, the area has created a ‘wine-road’ for tourists, the Strada del Vino Marsala, connecting wine-producers who offer guided tours and tastings. Note that Marsala is strong stuff.
You may hire a car to take you there to Marsala and Car Rental Italy is a good option when you plan to hire a car in Italy. Car Rental Italy offers cars to rent from a wide fleet with Hertz. They also have economical touring packages for tourists, who never cease from visiting the picturesque place all year long.